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X starts hiding headlines because Elon Musk reasoned it will make posts look better

X (formerly Twitter) has decided to hide headlines of articles shared on the platform, in line with the intent of its owner Elon Musk. X will now on only show the article’s lead image and the domain it will link you to.

Decision of X to hide headlines of articles posted has been taken confirming to the view of its owner that articles without headlines will look better. Fortune had reported in August itself that this change was in the works, and X owner had confirmed on his part that the switchover was “coming from me directly” and would “greatly improve the esthetics [sic].” Those accessing X on iOS app and desktop are already experiencing the change.

Musk has lately been cajoling users to post more content to X directly in an attempt to help boost engagement on the platform (and maybe also because he “almost never” reads “legacy news anymore”). He has also divulged that the platform’s algorithm “tries to optimize time spent on X,” implying that “links don’t get as much attention” and that the “best thing is to post content in long form on this platform.”

Musk has simply walked the talk. He had tweeted about this change on 22 August 2023. He had stated, “This is coming from me directly. Will greatly improve the esthetics.” Post this change links posted on X will now appear as the image from the article, and also text in the left-hand bottom corner of the image noting the domain of the link. To visit the page, users will need to click the image. The alteration was made on Wednesday for desktop and iOS users. Advertisement links are excluded from this new change it seems.

Backdrop for the current change can’t be termed good. X is believed to have become increasingly hostile for news organisations to use post the takeover by Musk around a year ago. Although twitter (now X) was never a great source of traffic for news sites, still the X platform is employed by most media organisations and reporters for news sharing and gathering. But traffic from twitter has declined post the takeover, suggests reports. NPR and the ABC have stopped using the site. The ABC held toxic interactions on X responsible. It also cited better engagement on other platforms as a reason. Musk reacted by accusing the organisation of censorship.


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